There’s much to write about these days. For example, there is a clarification in order re: the latest GOP misdirection: the Puerto Rican Defense League (now known as Latino Justice). I should write that the SCOTUS did not “overturn” Justice Sotomayor, or that the test in the Ritchie case actually does not measure one’s firefighting ability. there is a long overdue post on the real discussion of universal health coverage -- and it seems that all the “compromise” going on will most likely result in a monstrosity of public policy.
But I’m tired and most people really don’t give a good goddamn anyway... and we will continue to get less for more.
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-=[ Questions 101 ]=-
“You see things that are and say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and say ‘Why not?’”
-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
I was taught that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
Why? An excellent question…
It’s a question I have been plagued by since as far back as I can remember. I’ve learned to ask other questions -- sometimes looking in the dark for newer questions, or questions not asked. I am a born skeptic, a doubter, a trouble maker by nature -- “un mas que jodes, un travesio.” At various times in my life I have been deemed unfit to live among the free and a bit deranged, to boot.
But along the way I have learned that questions are the very substance of who we are and what we do. I have learned that almost everything we do, every decision we make, is a response to an inner question. It’s unfortunate, I often think, that “Questions 101” is not a regular feature in our classrooms. But then again, does the status quo really want to nurture questioning in our young?
One of my favorite books, Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, deals with this issue of questions. In it a massive supercomputer is designed to give the ultimate, the absolute answer, an answer that would explain “God, life, the universe, and everything.” But the computer takes seven and a half million years to do this, and by the time the computer delivers the answer, everybody has forgotten the question! So, nobody remembers the ultimate question, but the ultimate answer is: 42 (what?).
This is amazing! Finally! The Answer! So wonderful is the answer that immediately a contest is held to see if anyone can come up with “The Question.” Many profound questions are submitted, but the final winner is: How many roads must a man walk down?
Reflecting about “spirituality, life, the universe, and everything” is pretty much what my life has been about -- the unexamined life, in my book, is an unworthy one. Of course, the answer may be not as clever as “42.” Perhaps the answers deal with matter, life, mind, and spirit, and the underlying evolutionary currents that seems to unite them all in a pattern that connects. The “Web with no Weaver,” as one of my favorite philosophers, Ken Wilber, likes to put it.
For some time now, I have tried to embody this spirit of questioning. I guess part of my personal mission is to prod others to question, to look for the unasked questions and to try to understand who decides what questions will be asked and why. I think that’s part of my motivation for posting my rants -- I want people to ask, to question, to investigate their lives. If I were to to die today, I would like to believe that I made some difference in the lives of the people I touch. I would want people to say, “He was a crazy motherfucker, but he cared, and he made me think (or “He hurt my ass.” LOL!).” Or something like that.
In this crazy world all we can be sure of is the punch line to this grand Cosmic Joke we call life -- death. In the midst of all this uncertainty, we grope for meaning or something that gives us a foundation of sorts. Sometimes this clinging is the core of our pain, sometimes having no meaning in one’s life is a key component to pain. So then, this is my meaning -- my mission: to rattle the cage a wee bit, to ask the unasked question and to ask you, dear reader and friend:
We -- the curious, the apathetic, the wounded, the lonely and the happy -- are all somehow compelled to mass in order to create meaning together. We huddle together and tell our stories by the fire to ward off the dark. But in order to avoid the Kool-Aid we must dare to ask the questions that need asking and support each other somehow when the answers are harsh or painful.
I remember a time when that was called community...